Al Jefferson recorded his 12 double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds in his return to Utah on Dec. 30 but the Cats fell, 83-80, to the Jazz.
Charlotte entered the fourth quarter trailing, 63-53, but opened the frame on a 7-0 run to cut Utah’s lead to 63-60. The Cats continued to battle, forcing two ties in the final six minutes before eventually taking a 77-76 lead on Kemba Walker’s putback with 1:15 remaining. Derrick Favors followed with a dunk on the other end, and Al Jefferson’s attempt to put the Cats ahead with an inside hook fell short with 43.9 seconds remaining. Trey Burke found a way to extend the Jazz lead to 80-77 with the shot clock expiring as the ball fell through the hoop on his drive to the right side. The Cats had a chance to tie it but Al Jefferson’s second three-point attempt of the season was off target from the top of the arc and Utah was able to put the game away.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte started slow from the field, shooting 5-for-16 (31 percent) compared to the Jazz’s 5-for-8 (63 percent). The Cats finished shooting 36.9 percent (31-for-84) from the field to Utah’s 42.5 percent (34-for-80). The Bobcats held the advantage from long range though, outshooting Utah 50.0 percent (7-for-14) to 38.1 percent (8-for-21)… The Jazz edged Charlotte, 46-45, on the boards but held a distinct advantage in blocked shots, 9-3.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Al Jefferson recorded his 12th double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) of the season and tallied his 19th consecutive double-figure scoring game in his return to Utah. Jefferson has recorded double-doubles in six of his last seven games and 11 of the last 16 games. He added three steals, two blocks and two assists.
JAZZ PLAYER OF THE GAME
Rookie Trey Burke scored a game-high 21 points to go with five assists, three rebounds, one block and one steal.
The Bobcats had three players score in double-figures, led by a game-high 19 points from Gerald Henderson (22), and followed by 18 apiece from Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. Walker has now scored in double figures in 20-consecutive games and 29 times overall this season. He continued to fill the stat sheet with six rebounds, four assists and one steal.. Chris Douglas-Roberts saw his most extended time as a Cat and finished with five points and three rebounds in 25:18 minutes of action.
The Cats continue their five-game road trip at 9 p.m. on Jan. 1 in Los Angeles as they ring in the New Year against the Clippers. Listen live on WFNZ 610am, the official Bobcats app or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.